Inspector Alleyn just wants to write a letter to his wife, but World War II, for one, keeps intruding. It’s war-work, after all, that has brought Alleyn to this seedy hospital in New Zealand’s hinterlands, and it’s the war that has left the hospital swimming in convalescing soldiers – noisy, often drunk, and always over-interested in the nurses. Nor is the weather helping. A storm has killed the electrical power, leaving Alleyn, the soldiers, the medical staff and all stranded in the dark….with a murderer. It’s a good thing for everyone, including the reader, that there’s a Scotland Yard detective on hand.